[WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

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[WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  ZamuelNow on Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:35 pm

Wanderlust has been out for a while and people have gotten some experience with it.  Some discussion topics have popped up and it seems it might be best to collect it in a central location.  As usual, it's best to note that the devs may not include suggestions or may alter them as they see fit.

This particular discussion will be for WL's Feature's and Traits.  How do you feel about them in their current state?
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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  A1C Bronymous on Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:37 am

Honestly, as long as its been out and all the games I've been in with it (at least a few),I don't think I've had combat with it yet. Without testing experience though, I can say I definitely like the features how they are. Only having one can drive greedy players insane. I built a few combat builds with a role in mind, then scrolled through the features and found myself having to make tough life decisions on which feature would help more. I do consider this a good thing, it means people have to put up with being unable to completely minmax every aspect of their build, and to generally be less greedy.

I've looked at traits maybe once, but they seem to be a similar deal as in Pony Tales. I'm not sure I really like the stratification for Traits as much as for the Noncombat Abilities, but like I said I haven't playtested them as of yet, so I have no idea how effective they actually are.

I would like to note that there seems to be an unfortunate lack of Tanking powers/traits/features, which I believe was mentioned in another thread. There doesn't seem to be a very reliable way of being a dedicated tank, and I'm certain there are other classes that are left wanting. Ultimately I think it just needs more content.
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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:04 am

Yes. Content is the problem IMO, especially when it comes to a dedicated tank and a few other builds. Like spellblade's or reactionary builds. Here's a few things I've thought of.

Exalted

(2) Spellblade Reaction
Gain the following combat talent
[-1] Quick Enchantment - Reaction
Trigger: You use a Single Target Attack Reaction
Effect: You may use a Spellblade action that costs 1 PiPs or lower for free on that attack

(2) Advanced Reactions
Preresquites: Spellblade Reaction
The cost of possible Spellblade powers for Spellblade reaction increases to 2.

(4) Lighting Reflexes
Each non-trait reaction has its PiP count reduced by 1. (If too powerful, then have it a 1/round reduction)

Legendary

(4) Spellblade Mastery
The first time you use a Spellblade non-trait move, all your single-target attacks gain that effect until the beginning of your next turn.

(2) Spellblade Blitz
Prerequisites: Advanced Reactions
Replace Quick Enchantment with the following talent:
[0] Blurred Enchantments - Reaction
Trigger: You use a Single Target Attack Reaction
Effect: You may use a Spellblade action that costs 2 PiPs or lower for free on that attack

(4) Ludicruious Reflexes
Prerequisites: Lighting Reflexes
Your non-trait reactions has its PiP cost decreased by another 1. Each trait gained reaction has its Pip cost decreased by 1 (if to powerful, have the non-trait reaction reduced by 1, and the trait gained reactions be 1/round)
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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  ZamuelNow on Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:11 am

A1C Bronymous wrote:Honestly, as long as its been out and all the games I've been in with it (at least a few),I don't think I've had combat with it yet. Without testing experience though, I can say I definitely like the features how they are. Only having one can drive greedy players insane. I built a few combat builds with a role in mind, then scrolled through the features and found myself having to make tough life decisions on which feature would help more. I do consider this a good thing, it means people have to put up with being unable to completely minmax every aspect of their build, and to generally be less greedy.

Yeah, Features are a whole lot less complicated than the LL item system and it's easier to deal with on the GM side to plan for since players don't have all of the everything.  While I still like a number of concepts in the LL system, I've quietly grown to despise the item structure and this solves those issues. At another time I'm going to go through my thoughts of all the Features individually.

I would like to note that there seems to be an unfortunate lack of Tanking powers/traits/features, which I believe was mentioned in another thread. There doesn't seem to be a very reliable way of being a dedicated tank, and I'm certain there are other classes that are left wanting. Ultimately I think it just needs more content.

I think this is a bit of an interesting multipart discussion.  Tanking seems to have three and a half (or two and a half and a half) forms in this system--redirection, punishment, protection, and threat.  Two of the Features seem explicitly designed for the first two concepts.  I think the main thing of note is the focus on challenges versus regular reactions and I think this displays some design concepts.  This is more centered around smaller parties and seems to have a focus on singular main bosses as opposed to hordes or evenly matched enemies.  I personally feel there's options for being a dedicated tank but it's going to depend on your definition of a tank and just what the GM is throwing at you.

Fury's suggestions wrote:Spellblade Mastery

I find this one particularly interesting.
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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:03 am

ZamuelNow wrote:
Fury's suggestions wrote:Spellblade Mastery

I find this one particularly interesting.

Thank you, I'm rather proud to have come up with it.
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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  A1C Bronymous on Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:38 pm

Wait, so features are actually replacing Items? Hmm... not sure how much I like that. I thought Items were to be implemented later.
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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  Paper Shadow on Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:00 pm

A1C Bronymous wrote:Wait, so features are actually replacing Items? Hmm... not sure how much I like that. I thought Items were to be implemented later.
Pretty sure Items won't be coming back since they were merged with Traits in a similar fashion how Utility Traits and Racials were merged to form Abilities. I mean, there was even a near perfect conversion rate between the two (1 Trait = 2000 Gold, only considered "near perfect" due to the trinket limit for Gold to Traits)...

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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  A1C Bronymous on Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:41 pm

I find that confusing- In PT, you got nearly all of your out of combat stuff upfront, and they tried to change that in Wanderlust with the scaling to Exalted and Legendary tiers. It seems odd to me that they would make a somewhat reverse design decision regarding combat, letting you have the majority of your build (your powers and feature) first, and then only getting a handful of traits as the game progresses. It may be because it has that same scaling that makes those few Traits far more powerful, but hey are still extremely limited in number and again it mostly has a player greatly restricting their build.

Still not necessarily a complaint, just confusing.
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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  Paper Shadow on Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:15 pm

Well, you also get combat stuff from your destiny choice in Wanderlust...

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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  ZamuelNow on Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:43 am

Destinies do affect things (to the point where the combat half probably should be part of this discussion) but it's worth noting that for LL, we were somewhat "doing it wrong". The gold from items is supposed to be picked up over time through questing as opposed to an automatic grant through level up. I mean, I give it out automatically, but in theory it differs from intent. Now, there's argument outside the scope of this thread about developer intent and how a playerbase plays a game but for WL, there are no official items. In the initiative to create GM material in sections, perhaps a thread should be made for items a GM can give players of WL.
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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  ZamuelNow on Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:18 pm

My thoughts on the current Features:


  • Tank: One of the two part Features in that it has a passive and an active ability.  The passive is useful for anyone--it's more health.  The Minor sorta sits in a "one step forward, one step back" territory for redirection style tanking.  On one hand, it solves the crippling energy issues that plagued low level tanks by simply making Guardian’s Vow free.  On the other hand, it has to be planned ahead of time and lacks any reactionary flexibility.  Some of that comes later in Traits/Destinies but it's noticeable compared to LL.  It mainly benefits from the fact it feels like tanking is intended to be layered in this system with Challenges, reaction attacks, and other things.  I think the main suggestion from me would be either a Trait to place a Vow on a second ally or something that triggers off of a Vow.
  • Slayer: A basic single target damage buff.  Not exciting but not bad.  Applying it with a Minor allows it to avoid the problem of being better on a solo than a group.
  • Hexer: A fair bit more interesting than Slayer since it activates on its own and the Weakness built in allows you to serve as a debuffer.
  • Mender: Squarely in the category of being unexciting but useful.  Can't target self but that fits in the healer mindset.  However, it does grant a saving throw so there is versatility.
  • Avenger: A two part Feature that uses the retaliation style of tanking.  Armor is fascinating since it gives it great synergy with self damage powers.  This gives it versatility outside of tanking.
  • Reaver: Very much an "I don't hate it but...", it flows well thematically with other Berserker style talents but I personally would take other options.
  • Nova: One of the absolute winners of the new system due to how it makes AOE builds more dynamic.  I actually tend to forget that the minor Going Nova even exists due to the passive.
  • Energetic: Oh...this.  I don't dislike Energetic but due to the prior system it sometimes feels like a bit of a player trap that prevents build variance.  But I am glad it made it over to the new system and some build types do benefit from it.
  • Nuker: This is a Feature that's in a weird position.  It's not bad but there's not a ton of stuff to fuel it so it feels like it has little use.  Combo builds probably benefit from it the most...barring the fact that most of those would benefit from Energetic.
  • Commander: While doing something you can get elsewhere, I like the ability to grant actions and the fact that this can supplement other support builds.
  • Conjurer: I don't quite care for "gain energy for X powers" Traits/Features.  I respect and understand why they exist but it's another thing to keep up with.  However, Conjurations being able to use an additional power has the capacity to be very versatile in battle.
  • Venomous: Pairs well with ongoing damage even if this system didn't already allow them to stack.  The biggest hole is not having a ton of ways to restrict enemy saving throws.
  • Companion: What the LL Conjurer's Pet wishes it could be when it grows up.  The imbalances of the the previous combat system make the custom building aspect utterly impossible for the prior system though I do wish the old version used the player KO/death rules instead of the conjuration death rules.  But yeah, this is another one of the winners of the new system.  It even comes with a way to support your Companion even if the player's build doesn't play support.
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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:29 pm

There are some really great thoughts in this thread. Nice work.

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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  mjh6 on Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:49 pm

Okay, so here's my thoughts I guess...

Spellblade: From what I've seen, most often, these are use to supplement builds rather than on their own. But they do have use outside of reactions, so I think that deserves some attention as well. If you're wanting to focus on them, it seems it synergies well Slayer, which also only applies to Single target attacks. Of the Current traits, I think Quickdraw (allowing an extra minor and 2 extra energy to spend on them) is by far the most useful trait for them. If we wanted to add more traits involving them, I'd like on that would allow us to apply a Spellblade effect to a Burst a certain number of times per battle.

Features: I've seen energetic used the most by far. And I understand why. A lot of the features are meant to complement certain build, but practically every build likes more energy, so it works as a sort of 'default' build if none of the others work or appeal. (Incidentally, I kinda feel that Features should be placed after the basic powers on the Doc, since they more complement and strengthen the build. But that might be just me)

Of the other features, I feel the ones that only work a few times each battle tend to be less popular than ones that are passive, or activate once a round.

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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:31 pm

I'm tired as hell currently, so I'm gonna make this quick.

I wish there was more conjurations like the Angel (as in, don't die)

I think the shapeshifting powers and the passive build-up mechanic with them can be greatly built upon.

And I think traitd that directly support the features, or even unlock new ones (or granting acces to more than one) would be awesome
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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  ZamuelNow on Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:43 pm

A1C Bronymous wrote:I find that confusing- In PT, you got nearly all of your out of combat stuff upfront, and they tried to change that in Wanderlust with the scaling to Exalted and Legendary tiers. It seems odd to me that they would make a somewhat reverse design decision regarding combat, letting you have the majority of your build (your powers and feature) first, and then only getting a handful of traits as the game progresses. It may be because it has that same scaling that makes those few Traits far more powerful, but hey are still extremely limited in number and again it mostly has a player greatly restricting their build.

Still not necessarily a complaint, just confusing.

Features feel like a replacement of the base 3000 gold players start with while Traits feel like a fusion of LL Traits and additional gold for Items. Items probably fared better with GMs who treated gold as actual currency since it would feel more like a quest reward than just a natural progression. Also an example of quest and setting structure differences.
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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  Bubblez on Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:52 pm

I just realized that Pounce in Form of the Panther, and Bundle of Joy in Form of the Puppy is extremely broken, but could be fixed with a simple phrasing change

Form of the Panther & Form of the Puppy:
[-3] Form of the Panther - Minor Action (Shapeshift)
Aspect of the Panther (at the end of your turn, if you did not use a Panther power, gain the following effect): This power gains 1 Charge.

You enter the Form of the Panther (exiting any other form you are already in). You may resume your normal form as a minor action. While in Form of the Panther, you cannot use your basic Powers. Instead, you gain the following benefits:

[0] Pounce - Reaction (Panther, Form, Single, Attack)
Trigger - You enter Form of the Panther.
Effect - Deal 1d4 damage to target creature for each Charge on Form of the Panther.

Once per round, you may use one of the following powers:
[+4] Stalk - Standard Action (Attack, Panther, Form, Single)
Choose a creature. Your next Single Attack Power targeting that creature deals an additional 6 damage to it.

[+1] Razor Claws - Standard Action (Attack, Panther, Form, Single)
Deal 2d12 damage to target creature.

[-4] Maul - Standard Action (Attack, Panther, Form, Single)
Deal 3d10 damage to target creature. That creature suffers 5 Ongoing Damage (save ends) and Weakness 10.
------------------------
[-3] Form of the Puppy - Minor Action (Shapeshift)
Aspect of the Puppy (at the end of your turn, if you did not use a Puppy power, gain the following effect): This power gains 1 Charge.

You enter the Form of the Puppy  (exiting any other forms you are already in). You may resume your normal form as a minor action. While in Form of the Puppy, you cannot use your basic Powers. Instead, you gain the following benefits:

[0] Bundle of Joy - Reaction (Puppy, Form, Single, Attack)
Trigger - You enter the Form of the Puppy.
Effect - You and another target creature both gain 2 life for each Charge on Form of the Puppy.

[-1] Whimper - Reaction (Form, Puppy)
Trigger - A creature targets you with an attack.
Effect - That creature suffers Weakness 5 before the attack deals damage.

Once per round, you may use one of the following powers:
[+1] Play! - Standard Action (Form, Puppy)
You and another target creature both gain 2 energy.

[-2] Cuddle - Standard Action (Form, Healing, Puppy)
You and another target creature both gain 3d6+7 Life.


There is no phrasing in here for removing said charges, which means I could Use a Minor action one turn to enter the FoP, leave it the next and then enter it the next turn, and constantly do pounce damage that will only build.

This become broken at Lvl 2 by adding the trait Inner Beast
Inner Beast:
(2) Inner Beast
You gain the following power:
[0] Inner Beast - Free Action [1/Battle]
Choose a Basic Power you possess that has the Shapeshift keyword. It gains 12 charges.

So on turn 1 I use inner beast and FoP, I do 12d4 damage (average of 30), I can then use Razor Claw or Stalk to regain pips, the next turn I drop out of FoP, use >=+2 power or a >=-1 power if I Stalked, I then will end my turn >3 pips (and +1 charge if we don't define leaving a form a form power) which means Turn 3 I can enter FoP again and do another 12d4 damage.

At lvl 3, I can add QuickDraw
Quick Draw:
(2) Quickdraw
At the start of your turn, you gain 2 energy that can only be used on Minor actions. You may take an additional Minor Action on each of your turns
And every turn enter and leave FoP dealing 12d4 damage Every.Single.Turn for a net -1 pip which can be easily managed with Razor Claw

So with a 4 trait point investment I am dealing average of 30 extra damage per turn and 120 in 4 turns, 4 exalted trait points should deal 58 damage total (per-round balance to assume 4 rounds)

I propose changing Pounce to the following

[0] Pounce - Reaction (Panther, Form, Single, Attack)
Trigger - You enter Form of the Panther.
Effect - Remove X Charges from Form of the Panther deal Xd4 damage to target creature.

[0] Bundle of Joy - Reaction (Puppy, Form, Single, Attack)
Trigger - You enter the Form of the Puppy.
Effect - Remove X Charges from Form of the Puppy You and another target creature both gain 2 life for each Charge on Form of the Puppy removed this way.

This way it prevents that broken interaction. Besides, using Pounce/Bundle of Joy once with Inner Beast is already a pretty efficient use of traits points, dealing 30 damage on average or healing 48, when 2 trait points should do 29 damage or 43.5 healing.  Also it keeps it consistent with Form of the Hawk, where charges must be removed to use the effects.  In addition, the flavour of it is kind of ridiculous, someone dropping in and out of a shape shift form as written, or if one flavours it as a weapon enchantment, constantly enchanting and disenchanting the weapon.
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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:02 pm

Great catch! Comprehensive analysis and pinpoint solution. Very nice work.

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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:58 pm

Changed Form of the Puppy and Form of the Panther.

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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:05 pm

So... is Wanderlust getting further updates or tweaks at all?
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Re: [WL] Discussion and Suggestion of Wanderlust's Trait and Feature system

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:56 pm

Unfortunately, Wanderlust and my other projects have gotten me a lot of paid game design work - which I've naturally needed to prioritize.

The good news: I believe we solved the problems with the Monster Manual several weeks ago. We've catapulted forward on that work, but I'm having trouble organizing playtests; because both I and my primary content developer are very busy. We can scrape in time to work on the project, but playtesting takes a lot of time.

If anyone's interested in helping with this, let me know. We've got a new designer applicant in the second stage of the process, so that's a good thing.

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